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DOT adds safety features near end of I-540

Posted May 28, 2010

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— The North Carolina Department of Transportation said Friday that it is adding safety measures at the eastern end of Interstate 540 in Knightdale to keep drivers from running off the end of the highway.

A second set of barricades has been installed in front of the barricades that were already in place at the end of the roadway. Three additional "road closed" signs have also been installed.

In the coming weeks, crews will place three sets of flexible posts in front of the newly installed barricades, providing an additional warning that the paved roadway is ending.

Six sets of rumble strips will also be installed horizontally across the eastbound lanes about 1,500 feet before the interstate ends to alert drivers that they need to exit onto the east or westbound ramps for U.S. Highway 64/264 Bypass.

Additional signs will also be installed along the highway. Signs already in place on I-540 will be changed to reflect the warning.

The DOT says there have been six wrecks at the end of I-540, including last week, when a Dollar General ran down an embankment.

The cost for the additional safety measures is approximately $10,000, the DOT says.

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  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT May 28, 2010

    All of these additional safety measures, and not one sign that reads, "STOP Dummy!"

  • juwannaknow May 28, 2010

    I drive this route all the time...There are plenty of warnings about the road ending...It is those that continue to talk or text on their cell phone (or apply makeup or work while behind the wheel of a car) that has now cost the state (and us) $10000 to place more warnings on the roadway!!! Seriously people!! What did you do before cell phones were invented? You DROVE!! Put the phone down before someone else is injured or killed!

  • this is fdup May 28, 2010

    ok so five( the other one tried to kill himself) people who clearly do not need to be driving in the first place cost the rest of us ten grand for their stupid move.

  • mpheels May 28, 2010

    JoeFreedom, that's how the 540 exit works already. The two left hand lands end one at a time, with all traffic merging into one lane over the course of almost a mile.

    I can understand how a driver who isn't paying attention would miss the merge and end up on what is effectively a 2-lane wide shoulder, but I can't for the life of me figure out how they make it all the way to the end of the road and over the embankment.

    IIRC, the recent cases included one where the driver drove off the road intentionally and one where the driver was incapacitated due to a medical crisis. No level of signs, lights, or rumble strips would have prevented those. The truck driver claims he was trying to avoid a wrong way driver - I'm still skeptical of that story, but if it's true then signs wouldn't have prevented it either.

  • commonsensical May 28, 2010

    If the road doesn't continue, then why is it even paved past the end point? It should funnel down into the exit ramp.

  • WhatWereOnceVicesAreNowHabits May 28, 2010

    Those barricades will only work if your paying attention, they need something there for the people who aren't. Reminds me of NL Vacation when Clark launches the family truckster off the end of the road,

    Rusty: Wow dad, we must have jumped that rail by like 50 yards.

    Clark: Nothing to be proud of Russ... [pauses as Rusty walks away] Hmmm... 50 yards...

  • YA RECKON May 28, 2010

    Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs
    Farkin' up the scenery, breakin' my mind
    Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign

    Cant read one sign, there gonna read two ??????????????????????

    Concrete barriers,,,

    This way they don't even have to read. they can just slide on in.

  • 5-113 FA Retired May 28, 2010

    Heck with the signs; let nature take its course by promoting the natural selection process. No reason for people this stupid to make more just like them.

  • JoeFreedom May 28, 2010

    This is a very simple problem to fix. Simply forcefully (with barrels or the flexi-posts) merge the lanes gradually onto the exit lane. This is how it worked at 540 and 70 for 2 years when that was where the road stopped. I don't recall any accidents from that arrangement. People at night, in the rain, distracted, etc, will continue to run off the road until they are manually guided off with barriers.

    This could be done over 1 night, with minimal cost.

  • icmfal May 28, 2010

    jmf1073: That post by Roaddog had me rolling. It is quite obvious that grammar check is not his friend.

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